IS it time that Britain sent a gunboat to Gibraltar? Spanish Navy and paramilitary vessels have been making numerous incursions into Gibraltar waters over recent months because they know that Britain´s military presence consists of two small Royal Navy launches which are no match for the large patrol boats operated by the Spanish Navy and Guardia Civil. Now I am not in any way sabre rattling but I do feel that the people of Gibraltar and its sovereign waters should be entitled to the same protection as those of the United Kingdom. Can you imagine if a French warship sailed into British coastal waters periodically without permission? There would be an outcry. I think in some ways the time has come for action. Britain needs to make a stand. These incursions and bully boy tactics by the Spanish government need to stop. Britain has a number of large off-shore patrols vessels and Ithink the time has come to deploy one of the them to Gibraltar. It would act as a deterrent, show Spain that Britain means business and at the same time reassure the people of Gibraltar than Britain is on their side. Ithink this latest spat over Gibraltar has passed the diplomatic stage. Spain is not listening to British complaints and at the end of the day there are 30,000 British citizens living on Gibraltar. Ofcourse, there is the danger that if Britain did dispatch a warship the dispute could escalate but I think Spain´s behaviour deserves action from the British government in the form of a bigger naval presence.
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